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Safety Concept of a self-sustaining PEM Hydrogen Electrolyzer System


Sustainable electricity generation is gaining importance across the globe against the backdrop of ever- diminishing resources and to achieve significant reductions in CO2 emissions. One of the challenges is storing excess energy generated from wind and solar power. Siemens developed an electrolysis system based on proton exchange membrane (PEM) technology enabling large volumes of energy to be stored through the conversion of electrical energy into hydrogen. In developing this new product range, Siemens worked intensively on safe operation with a special focus on safety measures (primary, secondary and tertiary). Indeed, hydrogen is not only a rapidly diffusing gas with a wide range of flammability but frequent lack of information leads to insecurity among the public. Siemens PEM water electrolyzer operates at a working pressure of 50 bar / 5 MPa. The current product generation is being used for demonstration purposes and fits into a 30 ft. / 9.14 m container. Further industrialized product lines up to double-digit medium voltage ranges will be available on the market short- and mid-term. The system is designed to operate self-sustaining. Therefore, special features such as back-up and fail-safe mode, supported by remote monitoring and access have been implemented. This paper includes Siemens' approach to develop and implement a safety concept for the PEM water electrolyzer leading into the approval and certification by a Notified Body as well as the lessons learnt from test stand and field experience in this new application field

Related subjects: Safety
Countries: Germany

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